Even as the country is gearing up for inoculation of indigenously produced coronavirus vaccine to citizens to limit the spread of the Chinese pandemic, the opposition parties and its media ecosystem have resorted to not only politicising the issue of vaccination drive but also trying to discredit the two vaccines – ‘Covidshield’ developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca and made by Serum Institute of India, and ingeniously developed and produced Bharat Biotech’s ‘Covaxin’.
After the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) approved the emergency use of COVID-19 vaccines Bharat Biotech’s vaccine Covaxin and SII’s ‘Covishield’, propaganda has been initiated targeting the government over the efficacy of the vaccine and resorting to fearmongering ahead of the release of the cure for the pandemic.
The left-liberals, opposition party members, self-proclaimed science experts on Sunday targeted the Bharat Bharat-ICMR developed Covaxin hours after it was granted with emergency use authorization (EUA). According to these ‘experts’, the Covaxin has not been fully tested, short on trails and there was no efficacy data to prove that the vaccine is a successful one.
Sandhya Ramesh, ironically who claims to be a Science reporter for Shekhar Gupta’s The Print, took to social media to claim that Covaxin, approved by the CDSCO was not tested enough on people, insinuating that the vaccine was not that effective at all.
The usual suspects like the champion of neutral journalism – Rajdeep Sardesai too wore his hate of an ‘vaccine expert’ on Sunday to question the government for granting the emergency use to the Covaxin vaccine. He claimed that the phase three vaccines were still on and argued that there was no data on the trails resulting while creating panic in the society against the vaccine.
The Congress party was not far behind to discredit the vaccine. Shashi Tharoor, arguably one of the few Congress leaders who looks ‘educated’, too resorted to fear-mongering by claiming that the Covaxin is not yet had phase three trials. However, it is a blatant lie. Bharat Biotech and ICMR have successfully carried out the third phase trials of the vaccine.
Instead of encouraging people to get vaccinated to protect themselves from the pandemic, the Thiruvananthapuram MP is not only discrediting the scientists and other experts who have put all their efforts to develop the vaccine but also pushing the innocent people away from the cure.
In another bizarre claim, senior Congress leader Rashid Alvi said that just like BJP and PM Modi were using agencies including CBI, Income Tax Department and ED against opposition leaders, they might use the vaccine to target the opposition leaders.
He said that the vaccine will be misused by the BJP against political adversaries and justified the calls for the boycott of vaccination drive. He supported Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav’s claim that these are BJP’s vaccines.
The way BJP & PM have used agencies including CBI, Income Tax Dept & ED against opposition leaders, I think there’s nothing wrong with it if Akhilesh Yadav fears that vaccine can be misused. The way govt is working against opposition leaders,fear is justified:Rashid Alvi,Congress pic.twitter.com/qXuXRsmzdW— ANI (@ANI) January 3, 2021
Saket Gokhale, the fanboy of Rahul Gandhi, who seems to have no idea about anything related to science, found illogical ways to discredit the ingeniously produced vaccine. Attributing false statements to DCGI VG Somani, Gokhale displayed his lack of understanding about the vaccine and its trial results.
It is shocking that the fearmongering continues despite the fact that Bharat Biotech has announced successful recruitment of 23,000 volunteers amidst it continued progress towards achieving the goal of 26,000 participants for Phase-3 clinical trial of COVAXIN across multiple sites in India.
It is also pertinent to note that the authorisation to the two vaccines granted by DCGI is under the emergency use category only and under the general licensing rules. Most importantly, the inoculation of the vaccine is a voluntary exercise and the Modi government is not forcing anybody to forcefully inject one of the two vaccines.
If the opposition parties and their cheerleaders fear about the vaccine, it is advisable to stay away from the vaccine rather than create fear against the vaccine in the country at a time when people are hopeful of a cure against the Chinese pandemic. The hatred against the indigenously developed ‘Covaxin’ and SII’s ingeniously produced ‘Covidshield’ is also a case of dirty games played by certain section of the media to discredit the country’s vaccine and cheer for vaccines developed by foreign and private companies.